In spiritual terms, a divided heart is a sick, dysfunctional heart. When the Bible speaks of your heart, it is talking about your mind, your emotions, and your will. That’s why we are told that we need to renew our minds by listening to God’s word (Romans 12:2). That’s why, in so many places in the Scripture, we are told manage our emotions; “fear not” and “do not be discouraged.” That is why we are commanded to willingly give ourselves wholly to Christ and follow Him. Our heart needs to be single in pursuing those ends. James warns us that, “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
King David was called “a man after God’s own heart”. He was not a man without fault or failure. But the record of the book of II Samuel and a plethora of Psalms attributed to him reveal a man that was singularly focused on knowing God and following Him.
Psalm 86:11-12 NKJV; “Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.”
You could meditate on each one of those five lines for a long time. And right in the center if it is that prayer for God to “unite” his heart in fearing (reverencing) the name of God. The name of God is everything that God is; all the holy attributes of God. David is asking God to grant him singleness of mind, emotions, and will to reverence all that God is. That’s a tall order: no double mindedness, no mixed motives, no unstable emotions, unswerving determination to listen to and obey God.
He follows that with a promise to praise the Lord his God with all his heart. Having a united heart leads to whole-hearted praise – no holding back; continuous praise that goes on forever. That is a big commitment from David’s undivided heart. And it is especially remarkable considering the context; (see verses 1, 3, 6, 7, 14, 15 of Psalm 86).
It could be life-changing to, for each of the next five days, write in a journal your meditations on one of the five lines in Psalm 86:11-12 quoted above. What would your life look like if that line was planted in, and bearing fruit from, your united heart?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I’m borrowing as my own, David’s prayer in Psalm 86:11-12.